Navigating Child Custody Decisions in a Collaborative Divorce
Written by Michelle N. Ogborne

Navigating Child Custody Decisions in a Collaborative Divorce

When you and your spouse decide to get a divorce, child custody issues can lead to the hardest conversations. You both love your children and want to do what is best for them. Dividing responsibilities might seem like you are giving up part of being a parent. Even if you know you need to end the marriage, giving up time with the kids hurts.

Fortunately, divorce does not end the relationship either of you has with your children. Child custody discussions can help you work together as parents, even after you move on with your separate lives. You will lay the groundwork not only for where your children live but for how you will make important decisions in their lives.

Collaborative divorce provides an approach that encourages you to come together for your kids.

Parenting Time and Child Custody

The most essential part of your child custody discussion starts with where your children will live. Consider the time each of you has to care for them. You need to be able to provide a safe, healthy home. Your relative work schedules and time available to be with them matter.

You also need to take schools into account. If your children are in school, changing school districts can be hard on them, especially when they are coping with your divorce at the same time. You should discuss which school your children should attend, and how it affects child custody arrangements.

Of course, in most child custody decisions, you want to make sure your children have time with both of you. Your child custody arrangements will include not only where the kids stay most of the time, but other parenting time as well. You will divide parenting time for holidays and vacations. Considering the feelings of your children and each other means talking through how you will split their schedules beyond day-to-day arrangements.

Legal Decision Making

Child custody, which includes parenting time and legal decision making in Arizona, encompasses more than where your children live. Parenting requires you to make decisions for your children every day. When you no longer live together, you need to work out who will legally decide on medical care, schools attended, religious choices, and more for the kids.

Instead of having to consult each other every time, you may want to grant primary decision-making to your spouse or yourself. This may be beneficial in time-sensitive situations. School or activity enrollment cutoffs are often last-minute decisions, and if you need to find agreement, this can make these situations tense.

In other instances, a decision like college selection or church attendance can be difficult if you do not choose a decision-maker, especially if there was already tension about these decisions during the marriage.

Collaborative Divorce and Child Custody

Discussions about child custody issues are always difficult during a divorce. While there is no way to make them easy or comfortable, you can find ways to work together. The collaborative divorce process helps with tools and professionals to make child custody and other decisions a little more manageable. By working together as a team, you’re able to make the decisions that are best for the kids.

Collaborative divorce can make these challenging times more manageable. It requires you to work with your spouse at a time when you have decided you need to go your separate ways. When it comes to child custody, though, you want to do all you can to make the right parenting decisions. Collaborative divorce can help create pathways for you to cooperate. If you live in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area and want to learn more about collaborative divorce, contact Ogborne Law today.